Resident of Ashford for 43 years and married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. The proprietor of a leading edge Technology Company for 23 years but now retired. In senior management for over 40 years delivering quality solutions to address business problems. Became a Councillor in 2011 and elected Mayor of Ashford 2017 – 2018.
I am passionate about helping all young people and those that are disadvantaged regardless of their personal circumstances. In 2017 organised the hugely successful Kent Challenger Games to engage vulnerable and disengaged young people so as to inspire them to overcome misguided pre-conceptions of what they are truly capable of, and by popular demand putting on again in 2019. I am also passionate about helping rough sleepers and the homeless, and during the very cold spell in 2017 instigated action to provide hot food and housing, Ashford being the only authority to do so in Kent. I shall endeavour to be a champion for them because being on the street can happen to any one of us. Getting special needs children at Wyvern School out and about more frequently considerably improves their physical and mental well-being as well as their learning, and it enables them to contribute more to society. So, with 4 young people I jumped out of a plane, raising £40k; using the money on a new bus and a Panna Football Cage which is taken out to deprived areas to have fun and games in the backyards of young people.
I have always shown an interest in community affairs and always give voice against inappropriate proposals. Following my successful campaign to stop an unpopular large scale development is why I became a Borough Councillor. I believe a Councillor should spare no effort to achieve as much as possible on behalf of residents, and standing as an Independent was important because it gave me freedom to act openly for residents and not be forced to follow a Political Part Whip no matter how damaging the matter would be for residents. My hands-on approach, regular communication with residents, being seen in the community and my open-door policy saw me returned in 2015 with a large majority. Residents regularly give me matters to address because they know I respond positively and swiftly to finding an answer. I believe I was elected to serve residents not myself or others, and my can-do attitude and dedication to pursue matters on behalf of a resident for as long as it takes often yields the answer sought.
While local issues are my foremost priority at the same time I am mindful that Borough-wide issues can be of equal concern. I shall continue to fight for sustainable developments, supportive infrastructure, protection for our fantastic countryside, housing affordable to our young people and those trying to get on the property ladder, more diverse and exciting Town Centre, and a halt to the erosion of the character of Ashford. I am for growth providing it makes sense for Ashford and all its residents.